Today I’m sitting in this cockroach-infested Cesspool called USP Atlanta. Many political prisoners have come through here, if he had survived Willem VanSpronsen would have potentially come through here as well. Instead he offered up his life and the state was more than happy enough to seize it, one less headache for them. I’ve been thinking about him, his action, reading his writings and motives. My heart has ached for him because I know how it feels to care so much you absolutely MUST act. Willem used his personal perspective and scope, thought about what his options were and decided with his heart and brain that he was ready to give up everything to a Cause that meant more to him than anything.
Every action on the “left” allows you to see the worst side of the radical movement, the side waiting to bash, lament, critique and disrespect. Every person and action not pre-approved by this apparent panel of action judges. The judges has always seemed so eager for revolution and action, right up to the point of someone pushing for it, then they pick up their gavels, climb onto their soapbox, raise their voices and begin to attempt to dissolve the person and action. This isn’t new of course, Berkman was blasted, the GJB were blasted, the young Anarchist who killed McKinley in Buffalo was blasted by the whole movement included Berkman!
The main critique I hear the most about my action is that “it failed to start or further the revolution” … this imaginary Revolution that to some is this grand Event, instead of a series of actions and a way of living your life. If this is the stick to judge with, every action by every revolutionary in the US’s and all of the people carrying them out are failures. This shit sits so poorly in my heart. To me every act should be judged by the intent, the purpose it was working towards, the Beating Heart behind it. How else can you judge something as big as success? Eric, Daniel, Walter, they didn’t end the logging into the fur Industries, but they acted by their convictions, they lived their values. Is that not the most success you can possibly hope for? Then you add in the people who inspired them to further the cause. Jaan, Ray, Tom didn’t overthrow the government but they lived their values, Revolution was life. They inspired countless future revolutionaries, myself included. Applying these success judges words, every political prisoner would be classifed as a failure. I would love to meet these internet Warriors who can look at Bill Dunn and Sundiata in the face and tell them what a failure they think of them, if they actually stand behind their critiques.
Why do we have to even consider success or failure? Why do we need to judge the Fallen? Why can’t we skip that bullshit an honor them and honor what they were willing to give up. Maybe we would have more people willing to take action if this sort of judge first attitude wasn’t the narrative and they would shut the fuck up? Willem isn’t a hero, it’s impossible for him to be a perfect person. I’m a 100% sure some hater will spend hours searching through everything he’s ever posted to find anything remotely on PC to ensure Willem is shunned Into Obscurity… Who needs Russian Bots or the feds when you have the internet “anarchists”? None of us will ever live up to our own standards. That lack of perfection shouldn’t take away what he went out to do and the love behind his mission.
I read his last words, his gratitude to the movement for giving him space… 3 can we meditate on what his last minutes or hours of life for like… The fear, determination, maybe desperation? Desperate to do as much as possible, but being aware that the US isn’t built for more. Too much fear, too many police. What I think about though is the love. You can’t make those moves without a Heart full of love and that is what inspires me the most.
I’m not a goddamn liberal and I assume any that read this will be likewise, Willem wasn’t either. He knew that you can’t use the system to dismantle the system, you can’t vote ice out of existence. We will either Act in accordance to our own beliefs or we will allow others to narrate Our Lives… the beauty of anarchism is removing that chain. As an Anarchist I respect the code that he lived. As a lover of real freedom, equality, of dismantling The Wretched machines, I respect that. I respect all actions that push towards a world worth fighting for. It feels like he was fighting side-by-side the same Revolution I fought for, Maryland Buck fought for and so on. We all fought to win. If he hadn’t been killed he would have been a 69-year old political prisoner fighting to secure his dignity and stay alive Within These Walls. Walls that have killed political prisoner after political prisoner. I imagine he would have had proper support and love during his bid. It always seems folks who support political prisoners carry this in abundance. It’s a very special beautiful part of the movement. I hope desperately that we grant him some honor in his death, giving love to his family, honoring his memory, helping with funeral cost if needed, Willem is a martyr, one I will carry in my heart with respect and gratitude.
Speaking of all the love and respect for the older generation, Freedom now! Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Bill Dunne, Tom Manning, Jaan Laman, Russell Maroon Shoatz, ALL of the remaining move family, Suntiata Acoli, the Nebraska 2, the Virgin Island 3, and every other Freedom Fighter I forgot. We honor those who gave Decades of their lives for the cause. We hold you dear, you’ve inspired us all, the true triumphs of human love and will.